As well as some of the best historic attractions in the country, the USA’s capital city lines up loads of amazing places to eat. You’ve got fine dining options, traditional Washington DC restaurants and quaint American fast food joints to choose from.

Here’s our pick of the best places to dine in Washington DC…


Rose’s Luxury is a local’s favourite. It’s famously reservation-free, so you won’t have to book months in advance to bag a spot. The atmosphere is cosy and friendly, and the food offered here is unique and globally-influenced. Expect dishes like jerk-spiced pig’s ears, penne alla vodka with Thai basil, and Peruvian chicken with fried yucca. When is comes to desserts you’ve got classics like chocolate cake and unique options like popcorn brulee to dig into.

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This iconic restaurant is the oldest in Washington DC. It’s just around the corner from the White House and the perfect place to dine after all that sightseeing. The old-school venue is chockfull of antiques and memorabilia, making you feel as if you’ve stepped into the past. And, it boasts loads of famous former clientele including presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant. When it comes to food, this place offers steak and classic American dishes. And it has the largest selection of oysters in the city if you’re partial to a seafood dish.

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Washington DC has plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants to its name, but only a handful have the coveted two-star status. Pineapple and Pearls is one, famed for its ambitious and inventive dishes which you’ll enjoy in a comfortable and relaxed ambiance. The twelve-course menu here will take you on an immersive food journey with beautifully-presented dishes and original flavour combinations. Expect unique dishes like Okinawan potato ice cream, tempura-fried ramp leaf and matcha tea soba noodles in an ice cube.

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This quintessential DC restaurant combines a charming setting with fresh, seasonal dishes on the menu. The cosy, country-style inn boasts flower-decorated fireplaces and wooden beams across the ceiling to give you that homely feeling as soon as you step through the door. Pick the five-course tasting menu with wine pairings and you’ll enjoy the restaurant’s best fish and meat dishes. Or choose your meal from the a la carte menu, with dishes like soft shell crab, swordfish and beef tenderloin to choose from. Finish up with the s’mores bar dessert – a posh version of the iconic American campfire snack.

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Ben’s Chili Bowl has become a bit of a Washington DC institution and the one place you have to visit on a trip to the city. In fact, Barack Obama was taken here as part of his introduction to DC before he started his term. The most popular menu item in this place is the spicy half smoke – a hot dog covered in the Ben’s secret-recipe chili sauce. It’s extra extra hot, so make sure you can stand the spice. You can also feast on burgers, rice bowls and chili here too.

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Ready to book your foodies’ trip to Washington DC? Tick off these top eateries and you’ll get a great introduction to the city’s dining scene. And, browse our bus routes for more city break inspiration.